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Neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart shares the secret to changing careers

Lara O'Reilly
Executive Producer

Dr Tara Swart hasn’t taken a conventional career path.

She began her career in medicine, but over the past decade she has become a renowned leadership coach, a neuroscientist, a lecturer at the MIT Sloan management school and an award-winning author.

Speaking on Yahoo Finance UK’s Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded show, Swart spoke about her unusual journey, and offered tips for others looking to make similar pivots in their careers.

“Leaving medical science was a huge deal,” said Swart. “People saw it as a massive risk; I look back and think the biggest risk would have been if I didn’t change.”

Her switch to leadership coaching within the finance services industry was a “massive learning curve” — especially learning the language of the sector and getting used to an overwhelmingly different environment compared to medicine.

Dr Tara Swart (right) appeared on Yahoo Finance UK’s Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

But it also coincided with a key time when the sector had a jolt in demand for stress specialists   the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

“There has been a massive rise in the number stress-induced heart attacks in financial services in the last 10 years, and so unfortunately I’m getting called into corporations because more people are really ill or really suffering from burnout,” said Swart.

She said anyone looking to make substantial changes in their careers should ensure they are truly motivated to “keep wanting to do it when it feels easier to give up,” and be prepared for how they may react emotionally.

“It boils down to trusting your gut, and having great people around you that you can ask for help,” she added.

Swart also shared the advice she’d give her younger self: “Absolutely follow your passion. If you follow your passion you will succeed.”

Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded is a new premium video series from Yahoo Finance UK. The show explores the stories of some of the most inspirational women across business, tech, and academia. Catch up on all the latest episodes here.

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